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8. dosemu and MS-Windows 3.1

8.1 Is it possible to run MS-Windows 3.1 under dosemu?

The ../doc/README.Windows file says:

*                                                             *
*  Danger Will Robinson!!!  This is not yet fully supported   *
*  and there are many known bugs!  Large programs will almost *
*  YOU TRY THIS!!!                                            *
*                                                             *

Okay, it is possible to boot WINOS2 (the modified version of Windows 3.1 that OS/2 uses) under DOSEMU. Many kudos to Lutz & Dong!

However, YOU NEED BOTH LICENSES, for WINDOWS-3.1 as well OS/2 !!!

There are many known problems. Windows is prone to crash, could take data with it, large programs will not load, etc. etc. etc. In other words, it is NOT ready for daily use. Many video cards are known to have problems (you may see a nice white screen, however, look below for win31-in-xdos). Your program groups are all likely to disappear. ... Basically, it's a pain.

for more details see the README.txt file.

8.2 Can I run 32bit stuff with winemu

Sorry, no you can't. Win32s needs stuff running in ring 0. That's a "nono" with linux. (97/04/27)

8.3 Errormessage: Cannot find the vdtapi.386 file when starting dosemu

As explained above, winemu can't handle 32 bit stuff. All drivers ending in 386 are 32bit. So to run winemu, you have to delete all references to .386 drivers in your win.ini. (97/04/27)

8.4 Windows 3.x in xdos:

As of version 0.64.3 DOSEMU is able to run Windows in xdos. Of course, this is not recommended at all, but if you really want to try, it is safer then starting windows-31 on the console, because _when_ it crashes, it doesn't block your keyboard or freeze your screen.


1. Get Dosemu & Linux source.
2. Unpack dosemu.
3. Run "./configure" to configure Dosemu (it will enable vm86plus as a
4. Type "make" to compile.
5. Get a Trident SVGA drivers for Windows. The files are
   and/or They are available at in
   /windows/drivers (any mirrors?).
6. Unpack the Trident drivers.
7. In Windows setup, install the Trident "800x600 256 color for 512K
   boards" driver.
8. Do the things described above to get and install OS2WIN31.
10. Start xdos.
11. In Dosemu, go to windows directory and start winemu.
12. Cross your fingers.

8.5 Can I install windows from within dosemu?

No you can't. Dos will tell you something like

The XMS driver you have on your system is not compatible with Windows...
You need to install windows from Dos. You can copy the windows tree to somewhere on your Linux Filesystem and use lredir to mount it on the same place as it is in dos. Example:
You have windows in d:\windows You have d:\ mounted as /dosc in Linux You copy the windows tree to Linux, e.g. "cp -a /dosd/windows /usr/share Inside dosemu you redirect the copied tree like lredir d: linux\fs\dosd
Now dosemu can't mess around in you windows directory, but changes in the windows directory aren't seen by dosemu too. If you want to do the same with windows on drive c:> look in this FAQ how to redirect c:.

But you can use "setup" from inside the windows directory to install drivers and change some settings. (97/2/1497)

8.6 Notes for the mouse under win31-in-xdos:

1. Use the mouse driver "mouse.drv" from WinOS2

2. In order to let the mouse properly work you need the following in your win.ini file:


3. The mouse cursor gets not painted by X, but by windows itself, so it depends on the refresh rate how often it gets updated, though the mouse coordinates movement itself will not get delayed. ( In fact you have 2 cursors, but the X-cursor is given an 'invisible' cursor shape while within the DOS-Box. )

4. Because the coordinates passed to windows are interpreted relatively, we need to calibrate the cursor. This is done automatically whenever you enter the DOS-Box window: The cursor gets forced to 0,0 and then back to its right coordinates. Hence, if you want to re-calibrate the cursor, just move the cursor outside and then inside the DOS-Box again. (97/2/10)

8.7 Why did my Icon disappear from the Program manager?

MS-Windows and WinOS2 handle the program manager group differently. While MS-Win store the setup in progman.ini, WinOS2 wants the contents of progman.ini in system.ini. Here's a tip from ( (Todd T. Fries)):

cat progman.ini >> system.ini
Be sure to use >> :-)

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